The “Sultan of Southpaws” doesn’t get everyone’s infatuation with his power numbers -- and quite frankly, New York Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson never will.
“Look, I’m not that type of guy,” said Granderson, who ranks second behind Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista in the majors with 16 home runs. “I don’t put myself in that category of a Bautista or a Ryan Howard. I try to drive the baseball, I’ll say that, and sometimes it goes out of the ballpark.”
New York Yankees
According to ESPN.com’s home run predictor, Granderson is on pace for 56 homers -- or 26 more than his career-high of 30 which he set back in 2009, his last year with the Detroit Tigers before they traded him to the Yankees.
Granderson hit 24 bombs in his first season in pinstripes, and with a swing taylor-made for the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, it looks as though he’s going to shatter that total this season. The 30-year-old veteran currently leads the majors with eight homers off left-handers. His previous career-high in that department was five.
“When I first came over here [people were predicting], 40-plus, or more, and that was before I’ve played a game in pinstripes,” Granderson said. “It’s unusual for people to throw these crazy predictions out there, before I even played my first game as a Yankee.
“People are throwing numbers out there that I’ve never even come close to, so it was kind of funny to me.”
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Granderson is just the third Yankee in the last 50 years to have as many as 16 dingers through his team's first 45 games. Former first baseman Tino Martinez (1997) and current third baseman Alex Rodriguez (2005, 07) are the others.
Martinez finished the '97 season with a career-high 44 homers, while Rodriguez ended '05 with 48 and '07 with 54 -- three short of his career-high (57 in 2002).
Since Granderson doesn't care much for making predictions, we'll leave it up to you the fans:
How many home runs do you think he'll finish with?